Monday, August 1, 2011

Mother-in-law

David's mother came to visit for a few days, which is always interesting, because the minute she steps in the door she starts cleaning. Twenty minutes after she arrived, she had the high chair scrubbed down and bleached, the kitchen floor swept, and the piano dusted. And she practically begged me to throw in a load of diapers so she could hang them on the line. I complied, because I'm nice that way.

Something tells me these socks
were paired by a political conservative.
She also folded all of Stella's underwear. This is quite a departure from the normal course of action around here. Usually I just cram underwear into the drawer because -- well, do I really have to explain why I don't fold underwear? I don't even fold shirts. I am also lax in my attitude towards socks, and don't adhere to narrow-minded ideals of conformity when pairing them. This might also be why I am a liberal.

Stella is quite smitten with her drawer of Grandma-folded underwear. She opens the drawer several times a day to take a peek at them. Enjoy it while it lasts, kid, because it's NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN AGAIN.

I guess if Stella asked me to fold her underwear for her birthday, I would do it. But only if she had been very good.

Where's the 'on' button
on this thing?
I enjoy it when David's mother comes to visit. Not just because she is a cleaning tornado, although that doesn't hurt. I also enjoy her visits because I get a kick out of her high energy level. Ironically, David has a very low energy level. His idea of a perfect day is to spend eight hours on the couch, moving only to turn the pages of the New York Times. In fact, among taxonomists, there is considerable debate whether David is actually a species of sea sponge, based on part on his limited mobility, as well as his tendency to trap crustaceans and drain them of their nutrients. (However, I want to note on the record that he is a very sexy sea sponge.) David's mother, on the other hand, would have the sea floor swept out, the sea urchins aired, and any rips in the coral sewn up before striking out to look for starfish to scrub down.

Grandma also brought a bunch of hand-me-down clothes and toys for the kids. That's great, except that it threw the Crap Balance in our house out of whack. The Crap Balance is a finely-tuned equilibrium between all the junk (er, valuable possessions) inside our house, and the four walls that can just barely contain that junk. So if we add more stuff, then either a) our house will shoot out a geyser of junk like a two-liter of Diet Coke into which a tube-full of Mentos have been dropped, or b) we have to drop some stuff off at St. Vincent on the double. Fortunately, Stella was so entranced by her folded underwear that I was able to smuggle some stuffed animals out the door when she wasn't looking.

My mother-in-law only had a short visit, so things are back to normal now. Our house is cleaner, Stella has some new-to-her clothes, and Grandma and the grandkids got to spend some quality time together. And you never know, perhaps I'll have a change of heart and start folding Stella's underwear. After all, Christmas is coming up.

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